This post was supposed to go over 6-7 books I recommend. However, as I got into writing and going into detail about why you should read those books, the post grew into a monster.
Since I want to give each book it’s due praise and justice, I split the post up into a series. Here is the first part of the series, which contains the first three books I would recommend anyone interested in lifestyle design read.
Think and Grow Rich
When I found out that this book was written in 1937, I scoffed and thought to myself how could a book this old still be one of the most highly recommended books by successful entrepreneurs and high achievers?
Luckily, I decided to buy the book and give it a chance.
The first few pages got me hooked. I now started to understand why Think and Grow Rich is one of the best business/self-help books of all time.
There are a few parts of the book that show the it’s age (like the advice on creating a resume), but 95% of the information in the book applies equally as well today as it did in 1937.
Since first reading it in 2009, I’ve read it at least two more times — it’s that good.
TGR also contains several sets of questions or assessments the reader can do on themselves to gain insight on various topics like leadership etc.
The author recommends doing one in particular around the New Year. This is one that I often do myself. Though it takes a bit of time, I gain valuable insight into my success and failures of the previous year, while preparing myself to crush it in the New Year.
The author of the book spent years of his life interviewing and studying the mindsets and techniques of some of the most successful people of his time. Some of the people he interviewed and even made friends with include Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and more.
There’s a good reason this book has sold more than a 100 million copies.
It’s a must-read for any entrepreneur, lifestyle designer, or anyone who wants to improve their life.
Read this one first.
Since it’s publication, several versions of the book have been created. Here is a link to the version I recommend: Think and Grow Rich: The Original Version, Restored and Revised.
The 4-Hour Workweek
Mentioning this book on a lifestyle design blog is almost, in not, cliché. If it weren’t for Tim Ferriss, the term lifestyle design may not exist, as many consider him the godfather of lifestyle design.
The book flips the conventional method of working and retirement on its head. It focuses on escaping the drudgery of working 9-5 and living a freedom lifestyle.
This appeals to a lot of people as more and more of us continue to find ourselves slaves to jobs we hate and starved of our most precious asset — an asset money can’t buy – time.
The author outlines four steps, or sections of the book, for doing this.
The first is defining what it is you want and how much money you need to make to live the way you want.
One of the main themes of the book is Pareto’s principle or more commonly, the 80/20 principle. The second part of the book goes into detail about this and other time-saving tips, like learning how to say “no.”
Tim has a lot to say about time management in this section, or as he puts it, “the end of time management.”
The author also talks a bit about the emotional and psychological stress of dealing with unpleasant customers in this section and recommends firing them if they don’t change their evil ways.
For the record, I have fired difficult customers in the past. Trust me, no amount of money is worth the mental anguish and stress unpleasant people can put you through. I wrote a post on this here [link].
The third section starts off with a topic that maybe should have been part of the second: further eliminating low value tasks and things we don’t want to do by hiring a virtual assistant (VA).
It then goes on to talk about ways to automate income so you can spend time doing things you love.
I’m going to give you a warning. He makes it seem a hell of a lot easier than it actually is.
Setting up a “muse” as he calls it, and then replacing yourself with VAs will be an immense challenge for many of us.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that you should go into it with a negative attitude.
I myself am still working on conquering this one as I write this.
Keep at it. Unless you plan on joining a monastery, you’ll also find it hard to have an enjoyable freedom lifestyle when broke.
Section four first tackles escaping the cubicle, or talking your employer into letting you work from home.
The next part deals with quitting your job if it’s really that miserable.
He wraps the section up with what he calls “mini retirements” (traveling for several weeks or months at a time). Finally, Tim talks about what to do with your life once working is no longer necessary and finding meaning and fulfillment.
The book will give you a sort of high-altitude view on what to do to design a freedom lifestyle. I said it before and I’ll say it again: he does make it look easier than it is. With that said, if freedom and an income is what you crave this book is worth your time.
There is the original version, published in 2007, and the Expanded and Updated version released in 2009.
I recommend the Expanded and Updated version of The 4-Hour Workweek as it contains additional content, updated resources, case studies from actual readers, and a bonus section at the very end (I didn’t discuss this one earlier).
The One Thing
This book arrived shortly after signing up for Internet Business Mastery coaching [aff link] and was one of the 2 bonus books I received.
It takes time management, goal setting, and high achievement in general to whole new level.
The One Thing is authored by Gary Keller, founder of the well-known Keller Williams realty company and co-authored by Jay Papasan.
The 4-Hour Workweek covered productivity and 80/20, but this book makes it look like Tim just found about that stuff a few weeks before he wrote the book. No offense Tim, you’re still The Man 😉
In other words, The One Thing goes into a lot more detail on these subjects.
It is divided into three parts.
Part one dispels some popular myths about time management and productivity.
Not only does it trash the myths that often hold people back, but it goes into plenty of detail about why the myths are wrong.
The second part starts off by posing one question to ask yourself each day. It’s a powerful one that can shoot your potential for achievement into space.
Sorry, I won’t give that question away here. I’ll give you a hint though: you can apply it to all areas of life whether financial, spiritual, health, etc. Buy the book, it’s worth it J
It ends on thinking “big and specific.”
The final part starts by discussing finding purpose. After all, purpose defines us and motivates us. If you’re not sure of your purpose, you should try to figure it out.
It then takes goal setting to a whole new level with goal setting to the now.
Next, the book delves into the concept of time blocking. If part two (one question) can send your productivity into space, then this will send it to next galaxy.
After that, you’ll learn about three commitments you need to make if you’re going to be successful.
The section wraps up with a discussion on “the four thieves” that can literally rob you of progress and dreams. Use the advice in this part to keep those thieves at bay and dreams within reality.
This book is another must-read for any entrepreneur or lifestyle designer. If you read it and apply it, you’re journey to the life you want will come much easier.
Grab The One Thing here.
That wraps up our book review for now. You now have a lot of reading to do if you want to design a freedom lifestyle of your own 🙂
We’ll pick this up again in part two with more highly recommended books for entrepreneurs and lifestyle designers.